Saturday June 6th, 2009
It is official: I have lost my mind.
I just got back from walking to the store to pick up smokes. I smoked on the way there. I smoked on the way back. I wondered if I'll need to drive to the Emergency Room later tonight to have myself committed. I wonder if that will cause me to loose my job. It probably doesn't matter. I just know there's nobody in Portland here to support me if I did. One person at work would take care of my cats. He is a Good Christian and I mean that in the best way possible, an absolutely Good Christian and all around Good human being.
It's stupid that the only thing I wonder about is who will feed and take care of the cats.
It is over. A few weeks ago I spent the last of my hope and it is over. I am broke.
Fuck me in the head.
Fuck me and this worthless life God has given me.
Fuck God, fuck all the angels, fuck the ancestors, fuck them all in the ass!
This is not a life worth living.
I am sure the last 35+ years have left me with permanent neurological damage.
I can feel it.
I am comfortably numb...until morning...then the pain and the fear and the emptiness sets back in.
This may be my last entry. I'm sorry. I just can't write anymore. There is no Goddamned point. Do you understand? Not one fucking bit.
If given the choice between love and prayers I would choose love. Wouldn't you?
Let's just be friends always results in ignored phone calls and e-mails. Maybe in as little as a day, maybe a week, and maybe a month, but always, always silence at the other end of the line. The other people win, they get what they want, they get my friendship, they get my support, and I come to their weddings and I play with their kids.
But there are no weddings for me. There are no crys of babies for me.
Is that what you ask God for when you're down on your knees begging for mercy? To be the spare tire, to get the boobie prize, to always find yourself alone again wondering how much fucking more stress you can take before you're the one hanging from the ceiling?
To those who do not like me, who have wanted sweet revenge, and who have wished me harm, you've gotten your wish, you have hurt me, you've gotten your revenge. How does it feel?
To that particular someone who has done their darnest to use the person most important to me to hurt me, you have been incredibly successful and have hurt me more than anyone ever has and that's saying a lot, considering the Cliff Notes of my life. I've been to the ER twice for physical issues directly related to the stress your decisions created in my life, and if I can't get through this weekend I'll be in for another. Are you happy with yourself?
To those who loved me but never left flowers at my doorstep and said, "I love you, I forgive you, I want you, I need you, and I believe in you," when things were at their worst...a trend starts with the first event. It could have been you. I've said that to dozens of people. They always assure me it'll be someone else. Thirty five years of assurances and nothing but carpets covered in cat hair. How does that make you feel? I ask only because I know where it leaves me. What's it like abandoning people with empty words and false hope?
How the hell do you sleep at night?
They always say I shouldn't feel rejected. They always say things will get better. They always say I will heal. But I haven't healed. The wound just keeps getting deeper and deeper and then just as it heals enough for me to reach out, to make an effort at friendship, when I recognize I'm ready to take a go at a serious relationship again, that's when it's ripped wide open. Everyone, and I am not making this up to glamorize my position, everyone I have ever been close to (with the exception of my parents) has at some point threatened me with abandonment to get their way. EVERYONE. How am I supposed to say that's not rejection? That's abandonment, by definition it is, why am I the only person that gets that?
Yet everybody wants my friendship. Lets just be friends. Everyone, besides maybe one or two of dozens, has not. What do I do? Always said yes? And then I discover they didn't really mean it? Or they act like friends for a week or two then it fizzles out. Worst? I remain friends, watch them find the life I always wanted with them with someone else, and so I put on a happy face, show my support, but another part of my insides is dying.
I have always felt like people say that to make themselves feel better. It has nothing to do with me. It never has anything to do with me.
I have no worth.
You've convinced me of that.
You all have.
If I had worth wouldn't at least once person treat me differently when difficulties arrise? Just one in twenty years? That's not too unreasonable to ask, is it?
The only way I have EVER been able to keep someone is to either walk away or threaten to kill myself or if they're financially dependant on me for a time (then not too surprisingly they leave when they're not, and without a thank you I might add). Do you know the damage that causes me, psychologically, to know that my smarts, my looks, my honesty, my integrity, none of that has ever caused someone to come back or stick by me? Sure, I get knocks on my door when people are feeling insecure, rejected, or afraid, but do I get them just because someone thinks about me and says to themselves, "Wow, this Aslynn guy is a wonderful human being! I want to spend my time around him!"? I can't think of a single time. I am not trying to be biased, but I cannot think of a single fucking time...that is, however, something I've thought about and said to others.
So now it's my turn to say goodbye, au revoir, au dios. And I don't think I will ever be able to open my heart to another human being again. Some have said otherwise, but something in me tells me that the human brain can only take so much before a person becomes one of those freaks who goes to work then spends their free time and home watching the same movies a hundred times in a row while eating nachos and collecting a hundred cats.
Ah, sorry, I should be hopefull. I should stuff all the physical chronic pain I've been feeling down the garbage and forget the fear I have that some day I won't be able to ever sleep, that I'll become an invalid. I should stuff down the knowledge that...fuck, there's just to much and I do not have the strength anymore, even to talk about. That's what really started to scare me. For years I have written, nearly every time I had something to say or had some feeling pent up inside me. Not anymore. The blank page is just a chore. The publish button is just too much work.
Why am I spending all this stupid fucking money on this dumb web site anyway?ith "now"...
I realize I'm being an asshole but I've officially lost my mind and I have the right to be an asshole because that's what assholes do and because I no longer care to filter out my thoughts and feelings for some fictitious audience (though I will send private messages to a few select and beloved people whom have been supportive of me these past few months)... All this has been pent up in me for awhile, building since about last November in fact, and finally it's out, for one final glorious blow up before I fall back into bed numb, bloodshot eyes stairing at the ceiling, at a wall, at the cat... This is it, folks.
Enjoy it while it's hot.
To all those who have been there for me but have been separated by so much space, thank you. I know you did your best. I know you love me. I know you wish you could do more and are lost. I know you wish you knew what to do, what to say. I'd feel the same in your position. You've really done your best. You've done well. You've done amazingly well. But what I've gone through, the impact to my mind, body, and spirit...I don't know what to say. There are some things even true friendship won't fix.
To those who feel guilt, it's not your fault, well not entirely. You see, it's just like errosion. One rain drop doesn't strip the landside of the fertile soil, but not properly cared for each rain drop and wind gust takes a little bit away until solid rock is bare and nothing grows anymore. Who should be surprised that nothing will grow here anymore? I'm not. Should you be?
To those who have said no, goodbye, good riddance, you're free of me. Enjoy it. I wish I were free of me too! What unimaginable joy that would bring me!!!
To those strangers who visit The Temple and read my entries, I hope you find some wisdom in my words. Ah, "hope", I suppose I had one last to spare and now it has been spent.
Nearly seven billion people on this planet could potentially read this. Funny. Ironic. I'm sitting here on my bed alone eating strawberries, drinking one glass of wine, and watching Star Trek: The Motion Picture, for the third time in as many months.
It somehow makes me feel like I could timewarp to an earlier time and start over again. God, I want so badly for the chance to try something else again. Dear God, dear God, I want a do over.
I might shave my head tonight too. I hate my hair. I just hate it. I'm tired of wondering if anyone will ever love me when I have short hair. That's not what I know. People have actually fallen "out of love" with me shortly after I've cut it.
Well, maybe not, I don't have any decent scissors and fuck if I have the patience to use the shaver.
I'm going to eat some Doritos too.
It may only be a matter of time before I purchase a decent back pack and hit the road. I'm just worried about the cats. I wouldn't leave them to die. Does anyone know someone who would love four deserving and beautiful cats? If you do please put me in touch, they need a home if one day I can no longer provide them with one.
I'll miss them.
So long and thanks for all the fishes.
Friday June 5th, 2009
I haven't been writing much anymore. Not online. Not in my personal journals. Not in my book. Not in my short stories. Not even very many e-mails. Compared to April and May, months where I was writing ad naseum nearly very day, I am now writing practically next to nothing.
There is some irony to the fact that I am going through the most difficult time in my life and more people are visiting The Temple than ever before. Thirty unique computers hit the site a day, though I suspect most of those are search engines. An amazing day results in up to sixty. It would no doubt raise even this if I returned to writing.
Of course it's a projection to say this, but I've come to the conclusion that most of the "real" hits from "real" people are from those checking up on me. How am I doing? Am I okay? Has another Emergency Room visit been required? Am I suicidal? The answers will be shared at the bottom of this entry.
So today I'm going to write. There's no rule saying I can't write. And honestly, I'm not sure what else to do with myself at the moment. I don't feel well, emotionally speaking. I have slowly been weaning myself off of Oxycontin, a heavy duty pain killer that such notable personalities as Rush Limbaugh have been hooked on, and the process, while straight forward on paper, is excruciatingly painful in practice. I recently described it to a friend something like this: Imagine waking up in the morning with the morning with the knowledge that every person you love, every friend, relative, and co-worker you count on and have a bond with, died the night before in an explosive plane crash. Imagine for a moment opening your eyes to the day when it hits you. You have no more family. You have no more friends. Their bodies are ripped, incomplete, burned black. It's unreal, so unreal that even after you sit up and walk into the shower, you cannot tell whether or not you are awake or not. It's not simply a matter or telling yourself this isn't real, that you're just having a bad dream, a nightmare, if only you'll wake up--you actually feel like you're dreaming though you're conscious and aware of your surroundings. And yet everything seems so far away. You know you need to do something about it, you can't feel like this forever, you must accept the reality of things, and yet what can you do but accept what is, take time to breath from time to time, and continue living. Maybe you'll see a counselor, a psychologist, or a spiritual adviser, but deep down you know that paying to talk to another human being cannot possibly replace the tride and true support of a loved one. We didn't evolve thousands of years to connect with total strangers regarding the deepest issues in our lives. That's what friends and family are for. That's why we live in tribes. That's why we love and stand up for those we love and fight for those we love. But you woke up and the first thing you realize is that nobodies going to be fighting for you because they're all gone and they'll never, ever be back except in the slideshow of pictures on your desktop.
That, my friend, is the start of my average morning.
Melodrama, perhaps, but metaphors and analogies work better when describing things that aren't tangible. I can't describe what it's like to have made the commitments, sacrifices, promises, and so forth, over the last decade only to wake up alone, work until I'm dizzy, go home, spend the evening alone, and go to bed alone. Sure, we all understand "alone" but few have, fortunately, experienced that at great lengths, felt the biting curse of social isolation, or experienced the overwhelming reality that so many people unjustly have and continue to judge you. Me, I know all of these things all too well and I must say, if not for the Depression in my youth I wouldn't be around to write this today; I simply wouldn't have gotten this far.
In regard to social isolation: If you've never spent a month of your life where you haven't had someone you trusted and felt close to to talk with at a time of need then you have never felt what it is to be socially isolated. Any attempts to understand it are pointless in a way. I have tried to explain this to several past friends who were, in my view, swimming in friends, so constantly busy that their difficulty was finding time alone. I tried sharing the details, how I was effected, and why it hurt me so much when they flaked or didn't read that short story they promised to read weeks back. It hurts because that connection is often the only one I had at the ime and while not their fault when the only thing you're looking forward to for weeks falls apart, it hits pretty hard. And when you're sad and you have nobody to call the mind starts to go a little loopy and the next night a little loopier and the next even more so until you just feel fuzzy and when you're around people it's like you're inside this glass bubble and you've gotta walk carefully, I mean, you can talk, you can interact, but if you're not careful the whole fucking thing breaks and you'll be standing there with tears running down your face scared as hell that these people will see just how lonely and scared you are. That's social isolation and if you've always got someone to call up for coffee, a movie, or just to get a hug, then you cannot know how devastating it is to one's ego, psyche, self-esteem, not to mention one's ability to get through the day in one peace.
In a way I'm envious of the homeless. While they struggle for food and clothing, much of their focus is removed from these concerns as they're focused on physical survival. They don't have to worry so much about keeping up a good face and putting on an act so they can make the grade, get their check, and keep their house. And frankly, that's probably why so many people loose their homes and end up on the streets. They find themselves in a similar place to where I'm at, they begin to loose hope, loose themselves, loose connections, loose everything they value, and then they just can't keep up with the gravy train anymore and before you know it, boom, house is gone, they grab a back pack, hit the road. I sometimes wonder if that's the direction I'm headed and in some ways I just don't care anymore. I'll just spend, spend, spend, eat, eat, sleep, and then when the cards are all maxed out and the banks start calling I'll just grab a bag of shit, walk out the door, and never look back. The homeless often start out as people with homes and "lives", they become socially isolated, they get some medical condition that ruins them, they loose family members, and slowly they start to loose themselves until one day they finally ask themselves: What's the fucking point of all this? You get so numb that sometimes even when people do touch you you can't feel it because you're not there. Psychologists call it disassociation. It's troubling. But it is what it is and it's what ones psyche does to protect itself from the reality that you're on your own 99% of the time. Happens to women while they're being raped, to children while they're being molested, and to ordinary Joe's who's forgotten what it feels like to be touched, even briefly, even if by a total stranger.
In regard to being judged (and even hated): In my life I have usually been on the outside, joining any given social group as the result of having a friendship with someone native to the group. It's their group and maybe it has been for years, if not decades. Drama hits. The friend has a point of view, different from mine but legitimate. They tell the group and the group quickly takes their side. Me? I may have known some of the people in the group for up to a year, even gotten pretty close, but I'm still an outsider, still lowest on the totem pole, and my opinion, my point of view, my side of the story never gets heard. Tribes make up their minds quickly, not on Truth or fairness, but on the strength of existing bonds; it's all about group cohesion, nothing more, nothing less. Sound cynical? Maybe. But as the defunct outsider having been temporarily adopted by a few dozen social circles over the last twenty years I have never once been asked the critical question: "So, what's your point of view?"
This is one of the reasons I write here, for some vain hope that some day someone from inside one of these groups would read what I have to say, go "Wow, okay, that whole situation makes much more sense to me now," and then ask, "What else is going on? Is there anything I can do to make this right? Do you need anything from me?" I can't imagine what that would feel like. I cannot imagine what it would feel like to be the one whose story was heard, who's experience was part of the big picture. But that's not the way tribes work. It's how I work, yeah, but I'm a fucking freak, and we all know that.
So here's the summary of my week.
Every day is about the same.
I wake up several times between 4am and 8:30am. Lots of things wake me up: Body pain, the cats, traffic, or being too hot or too cold (one of the frustrating side effects of Oxycontin is difficulty regulating body temperature, esp. at night). I regularly have nightmares. For instance last night I had one where an old friend of mine was doing something objectively terrible and hurtful towards me, something anyone would agree was terrible, and I just kept asking, "Why are you doing this?" (which reflects many situations in my waking life where I've flatly asked people that question). Finally I just walked up to them and hugged them tight and said, "You know what? I love you, ok?! I just want an apology, I don't want to judge you, all I fucking need is an honest apology!"
More on apologies later.
It's now 11:01pm and I'm far from tired. My neck hurts and I'm in dire need of a massage, but I'm going to have to live with getting in a good night's sleep. Tomorrow and Sunday won't be easy days. I'm going from 2 x 30mg Oxycontin a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, to one per day. So I'll either be suffering plane crashes in the morning and afternoon, afternoon and evening, or morning and evening. Choices, choices, choices. So here's the plan. I've rearranged my bedroom for maximum comfort including a new cheap little TV hooked up to DTV over the airwaves, a Sony PlayStation 2, Nintendo Game Cube, and DVD player. There are piles of books to my left and to my right. The left side of the bed is ready for relaxation, gaming, tv, and reading, the right side has a pull over desk in order to do some work on the laptop. The plan is to sleep in a little, but not too much, take a shower, do some stretching. Then I'll do whatever I need to do to survive. That's the name of the game: physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual survival.
I am not looking forward to it.
But I will be so much better for having done it.
So hitting the reverse button for a moment.
The first fifteen to thirty minutes of my regular week day are as described above in the plane wreck section. I somehow manage to feel better and better until finally I stumble into my car and cruise towards work. I get to work, check my e-mail, then skim the news headlines, local, national, and international over a cup of coffee. Take care of a few necessary items then go downstairs and have a smoke. After that work is just work. I go over the schedules. I rearrange priorities. I go through e-mail. I coordinate with developers, quality assurance engineers, managers. I document. I program. I test. Somewhere in there I have brunch which usually consists of yogurt, a banana, and an apple or pear. And all the while my left butt cheek hurts incredibly. I move left, I move right. I squirm. And then when it becomes unbearable I stand up. Now my knees and ankles hurt. Five minutes later it's too much so I sit back down. And so it goes. On worse days my back and shoulder and neck hurt too. Today was one of those days. All the while I look at the clock. When will it be time to go home? When will I get to lay down? When can I take the next round of pain killers? Why don't I have a roommate who'll massage my freakin' kneck?!?
5ish comes. I grab my things. I walk out to the car. I turn on NPR and listen to the news as I make my way home through rush hour traffic; fortunately I don't need to get on any of the freeways. Most days I back into the driveway, careful not to run into the tree, my parents car, which is here while they're in Australia, or the garage door. I grab my things. I check the mail. If there are Netflick's envelopes I'll check those out once I get inside. Inside I feed the cats. I get dinner ready. I head to the back porch and have a smoke. I may then sit down and watch a movie. Or maybe I'll do some things around the house. On a good day I'll have made a list of at least three things I want to do when I get home. Yesterday it was a) take out the garbage, b) vacuum my room, and c) perform some clean-up and organization on my main server machine. The day before it was move the server to the art room, setup, then rearrange furniture in my bedroom (that was a busy evening). Tonight it was clean the mess of wires, get everything ready for tomorrow, a few other cleaning odds and ends, and finally, finishing up this journal entry. I do these things to keep myself in motion. Often I don't feel emotionally attached; I'm just going through the motions. But I learned, long ago, that to survive and get through a severely difficult period in one's life it is necessary to continue a certain level of "normal" behavior. Sure, even if one doesn't feel into it most days, there will certainly (hopefully) come a time where the emotions follow. That day, I fear, is a long-long way off. And then around 9 or 10pm I take an ambien. Some nights it kicks in automatically. On other days it takes a few hours. I get in bed. I might fall right to sleep. It may take 30 minutes. Either way, I stare at the ceiling and feel empty, alone. I focus on my breath. I focus on my breath.
Most days are just difficult. Sometimes, for no reason that I'm specifically aware of or able to put my finger on, they are absolutely terrible. Yesterday was such a day.
It started around 2 or 3pm. Feeling of anxiety. And not just a "normal" sense of anxiety, like I might have during an anxiety attack, but a serious sense that I was close to becoming not just anxious, but dizzy, a little confused, and even worse. What's "worse", you ask? Somehow I managed to push my way through the day, but to be honest I wanted to literally run downstairs, get in my car, and drive home as fast as I could. When it was time to leave I left, got home, and was shocked by how I felt. I assumed it was just another OxyC low but I took that, it kicked in, and my mood continued to go downhill. Went out to smoke. Started to feel extremely suicidal. What's the point of life? Is it possible to have a worthless life? Are there some lives that are just a waste of space? I realized I was in a pretty good place, if that's the choice I wanted to make. Why get off the OxyC when I could take a handful, wait an hour, get in the car, find a brick wall, then ram it at 100mph. Wouldn't feel a thing and would probably be drugged up happy the entire time. No, I wouldn't do such a thing, but I've had some pretty difficult moments where I think wow, if there were any time in my life where I wanted to make this choice, where I had the means to do it easily and painlessly, if I had all the reasons in the world to move forward with it fuck, I just don't know why I ended up there or why I do once a week or so. I'm not thinking about anything specific when it happens. Nothing specific happens that would cause it. It's not always at the same time of day. Sometimes it's affected by the pain killers, at other times it's not. Always, it is so incredibly intense that I cannot or can barely function and it doesn't go away until I get a good night's sleep.
I have never felt this way before in my life, even when I struggled with a suicidal depression. I don't know what's going on. Sometimes it worries me. At other times I think, "What should you expect after all you've been through?" Really, what should I expect? I've been through the grinder. Again and again and again. I no longer know what the meaning of life is. I don't have any goals--I mean, I don't see the point if I can't achieve any excepting those that are related to me making some kind of purchase or making something with my own two hands, the moment I must rely on other people for an aspect of a goal I might as well fracking forget it, it just ain't going to happen. That has left me feeling pretty empty about life. Are my only successes to be found at the front of a BestBuy?
Anyway I don't even know how to describe these "moments" (although they usually last half to a full day and I've now had about thirty of them over the year). The worst have been on the weekends. In fact, Memorial Day Weekend was the worst. Every day one plane crash after another followed by several punches to the gut of shitty followed by bad news followed by crap Monday and Tuesday. Just felt wiped. Broken. Spent. No point to life. No point to a life that feels like this. Who would want to live like this? Who would want to live? Who could get through this? Why am I getting through this? Is there anything on the other side?
Is there anybody out there?
You'd think I'd have a chemical imbalance. Truth is I was checked for that once. You know what they found out? I'm fine. My brain is fine. In fact, throw me in a situation with two or more people who accept me for who I am, give me touch from time to time, and show me respect, and I become extremely happy within 48 hours. Yes, it only takes two days for me to go from, "What's the point?" to "I love life!" All I need is what we all want, what we all need. A little friendship. A little support. A little touch. A little certainty. A little meaning. A little respect. A little hope. Boom. It's like this never happened. Indeed, when I've got my needs met, and most of them are fairly simple, I am an incredibly happy person, more so than most people I think, more so than most people are, but you wouldn't know that because I rarely have those basic needs met.
Apologies I will talk about them another day. It's too late and I'm too fucking tired.
On a positive note I have made some progress building up my social network. It is far from stable, far from what most people take for granted, but there have been a few steps. A coworker and I get together every two-three weeks to watch BattleStar Galactica. And I met a girl on the internet who stumbled on my MySpace page. She's been very supportive of what I'm going through and can empathize being that she has Fibromyalsia as well and understand what it's like to live with chronic pain, have dealt with taking heavy duty pain meds, and so on and so forth. Haven't met in person and who knows when I'll be ready. Truth is, I feel incredibly scared of people and being behind a computer monitor makes me feel safe. Don't have to worry about people taking advantage of me, saying hurtful things to my face, and as an empath I don't have to worry about picking up on people's deeper emotions, especially when I'm not in a good place to handle such things. Finally, there's no chance of being hurt, disappointed, or abandoned, or at least, the final emotional tribulations aren't as dire and that's just something I know I cannot handle, not right now, and probably not for awhile.
Some day I will be on my own two feet again. Until that day I will endure. As for the weekend, I will somehow manage. I have to. Got no other real choice, at least not if I want to live a fully healthy life some day and become an actualized human being.
P.S. Answers: Not great. I honestly don't know anymore. Fortunately no. And more often than I'm willing to admit.
Monday June 1st, 2009
Just wanted to share this film with those who care: Henry Poole is Here.